South Carolina Business Review

Mon-Fri, 7:51 am

The South Carolina Business Review, with host Mike Switzer, focuses on news from South Carolina's business community with interviews of many small business owners and business leaders from around the state. South Carolina's nonprofits, including its colleges and universities are also regularly featured on the program, as well as many of the state's small business support organizations. 

S.C. Business Review Archive 1 (June 2011- September 2014)

S.C. Business Review Archive 2 (PDF; February 2003 - May  2011)

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed on The South Carolina Business Review are their own and are not necessarily those of South Carolina Public Radio.

Laura Corder
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

If there is any group of entrepreneurs that is not only hungry for capital but also having a hard time finding some, it’s early-stage start-ups.  If you’re one of these, you won’t want to change your radio dial right now because our next guest is going to tell us about a free, new program her state agency recently launched to help these companies find federal grant money.

If you are a Southern artisan or business with a unique locally made product, you might want to know that a national magazine based in our state goes out of their way to highlight these products each year through their Made in the South awards program.  And the deadline for entry is fast approaching.

Mike Switzer interviews Elizabeth Hutchison, a contributing editor with Garden and Gun magazine in Charleston, SC.

It has been over nine years since the US economy has been in a recession.  This is the second longest expansion period on record.  Some analysts are saying that we are long overdue for a recession, especially since recent gross domestic product numbers came in below the previous three quarters.

Mike Switzer interviews Wes Johnson, a certified financial planner and prognosticator with ACT Advisors in Charleston, SC.

John Warner
Concepts to Companies

A weekly update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews John Warner is co-founder of Concepts to Companies and founder and CEO of Swampfox, an entrepreneur-centric social media company, based in Greenville, S.C.

David Cote
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Our next guest’s company was recently named by Forbes magazine as one of the 500 best employers in the country.  He says the key to their employee success is the company’s cultural compass that points in all directions.

Mike Switzer interviews David Cote, a vice president and head of human resources at BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina in Columbia.

Bratton Riley
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

These days, when you’re visiting a new website, a chat box will often pop up and ask if you need help.  And you may not even be aware that many times these are automated and are known as chatbots.  Our next guest believes that these chatbots can help make your relationship with local government more efficient and so he started a company to prove it.

Bratton Riley is CEO of Citibot, based in Charleston, SC.

Doctors, lawyers, and CPAs are considered professional occupations, that is: having a specialized body of knowledge, and having education, experience, and ethical requirements.

Our next guest believes that certified financial planning should also be considered a bona fide “profession” and he’s working hard to make it happen.\

Mike Switzer interviews Rick Van der Noord, a certified financial planner in Greenville, SC.

John Warner
Concepts to Companies

A weekly update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews John Warner is co-founder of Concepts to Companies and founder and CEO of Swampfox, an entrepreneur-centric social media company, based in Greenville, S.C.

Recovering Food Waste

Jun 8, 2018

Americans throw away billions of pounds of food each year, worth billions of dollars and enough to feed millions of people. In fact, according a recent report on food waste by Johns Hopkins University, if we were able to recover all of our wasted food, we could provide a 2,000-calorie diet to 84% of the population.  Our next guest’s university is working with a major South Carolina corporation on an initiative to address this issue.

Elizabeth McClendon
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

According to a recent report from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), our state ranks 8th in the nation in new cases of AIDS per capita, with Columbia ranking 5th, Charleston, 22nd and Greenville, 51st.  And our next guest says that 40% of our state’s new cases are age 20 -29, young people just entering the workforce, which she believes could lead to a significant impact on our economy.

Chris Robinson
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Imagine being able to store red blood cells as a bottle of powder on a shelf, not needing any refrigeration or for those who need regular transfusions, being able to receive one through a simple injection into the upper arm, like a shot.  Our next guest is a University of South Carolina professor who has been an integral part of this nano blood technology.

The last time we spoke to our next guest, about three months ago, he said he believed that our country’s economy seemed to be waking up from a long period of sleepwalking.  Well, we’re almost to the midpoint of the year and interest rates are rising, construction activity is reported to be declining, the stock market appears to have stalled, so let’s see how he feels now.

Andy Owens
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

An update of the news, events and issues that are trending right now across South Carolina's business community.

Mike Switzer interviews Andy Owens, managing editor of SCBizNews, the company that publishes the Columbia Regional Business Report, Charleston Regional Business Journal, GSA Business and SCBizNews magazine.

Busy Time at SC Ports

Jun 1, 2018

As the economy has been improving over the past several years, our state’s ports authority has been quietly setting new records for container volume while at the same time, continuing its efforts to deepen Charleston Harbor to accommodate the bigger, new Panamax ships which will allow for even more volume to our ports.  And if you missed it, our state’s second inland port recently held its grand opening in Dillon.

Mike Switzer interviews Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority in Charleston, SC.

Don Medlin
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

It’s becoming more commonplace to hear about entrepreneurial ventures springing from our state’s research universities.  And they’re getting more interesting, too.  For example, through a collaboration with Clemson University’s physics and astronomy department, our next guest’s company recently won an award for their cancer treatment device.

Mike Switzer interviews Donald Medlin, CEO and co-founder of Medical Beam Laboratories in Greenville, SC.

Kimberly Tissot
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Despite the workforce shortages we continue to hear about across a variety of industries, our next guest says that there are hundreds of thousands of untapped employees right here in South Carolina: people with disabilities.  A group which, in South Carolina, happens to have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.

Mike Switzer interviews Kimberly Tissot, executive director of ABLE SC in Columbia, SC.

Back when I was working in the financial services industry, parents and grandparents saved for children’s college costs mostly through Uniformed Gifts to Minors accounts which could be used for anything, not just college.  However, the money legally belonged to the child when he or she turned 18.  Then came 529 plans, which kept the contributor in charge of the funds, just in case circumstances changed, but specified that the money had to be used for college costs.  But now things have changed again.

John Warner
Concepts to Companies

A weekly update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews John Warner is co-founder of Concepts to Companies and founder and CEO of Swampfox, an entrepreneur-centric social media company, based in Greenville, S.C.

On one of our regular Monday interviews with John Warner, you’ve probably heard him mention the Charleston Digital Corridor and the success they are having nurturing and supporting technology entrepreneurs in the Holy City.  But you may not know that two years ago, they partnered with the city of Beaufort to expand those efforts.

Mike Switzer interviews Kevin Klingler, board chairperson at the Beaufort Digital Corridor.

Most people know that spending money at your city or town’s small businesses does more for the local economy than buying online or at big box stores.  But our next guest says that that buying power is much more significant than folks realize. He says that for every dollar someone spends in a locally owned business, 75 cents stays in the community, whereas only 35 cents spent at a big box retailer stays local and only one penny of every dollar that is spent online.  So he’s turned that focus into a business of its own.

If you are a bicycle racing fan, you probably knew that last year, for the first time since 2001, the BMX World Championships were held in the US.  And that specific location was the BMX Supercross Track in Rock Hill, SC, the only Olympic-caliber training facility on the U.S. east coast.  That’s the kind of venue that can make a significant economic impact on the local community.

When it comes to investing in stocks and bonds, have you ever given any thought as to your personal investment philosophy or behavior?  Our next guest says that you are probably one of three basic types of investor: rational, irrational, or “sort of balanced”.

Mike Switzer interviews Hans Blake, a chartered financial analyst and CPA with Intelligent Investing in Greenville, SC.

John Warner
Concepts to Companies

A weekly update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews John Warner is co-founder of Concepts to Companies and founder and CEO of Swampfox, an entrepreneur-centric social media company, based in Greenville, S.C.

David Beitz
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

When we last interviewed our next guest, he and his partner had just started a geographics company.  Since then, they discovered a need for a specialized version of their data in the grocery industry.

Mike Switzer interviews David Beitz with Beitz and Daigh in Columbia, SC.

Travis Knowles
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

With certain changes in our state’s beer industry laws over the past few years, more and more former home-brewers are venturing out and starting full-fledged breweries.  And the latest that we have learned about is a partnership between five such individuals in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews Travis Knowles, co-founder of Seminar Brewing in Florence, SC.

For the past several years, our next guests have been working in the trenches of our state’s independent film industry and they say they continue to be amazed how few people are aware of South Carolina’s film incentives that exist to spur the growth of this sector of our economy.

Mike Switzer interviews Chris and Emily White are filmmakers in Greenville, SC and their latest film project is Electric Jesus.

While our next guest agrees that the number one uncomfortable topic for discussion with our children is the “birds and the bees”, he says a close second is talking to your adult children about money.  Which is why he brought with him today some tips on this topic.

Mike Switzer interviews John Cooper, a certified financial planner with Greenwood Capital in Greenwood, SC, and current president of the SC chapter of the Financial Planning Assn.

John Warner
Concepts to Companies

A weekly update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews John Warner is co-founder of Concepts to Companies and founder and CEO of Swampfox, an entrepreneur-centric social media company, based in Greenville, S.C.

If you are a regular listener of ours, you know that our state has a plethora of resources available to entrepreneurs.  And our next guest is right in the thick of this activity, which includes an upcoming free summit they will be hosting in Columbia where collaboration, networking, exchange of ideas, and South Carolina’s innovative companies will be highlighted.

Tom Ledbetter
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Of course, government contracts can mean big business for big businesses, but small businesses can benefit, too.  For example, just one government agency last year awarded $5 billion in prime contracts to small businesses.  Our next guest says that many small businesses are unaware of how to pursue these opportunities which is why he’s hosting a free outreach event on this topic in Columbia, SC on May 23rd.

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